Is It Time for Some Spring Cleaning in Your TAS?

With the Changing Season Comes the Opportunity to Make Meaningful Change

Spring is that time of year we usually associate with doing a thorough cleaning of our house, called spring cleaning. Whether we actually get around to doing it, of course, is another story. Let’s move the concept of spring cleaning from our home to our business. Here are some spring-cleaning projects we might want to consider for our answering service.

Get Rid of What We Don’t Need

Most businesses, including answering services, have items they don’t need and will never use. Get rid of them. Sell, recycle, or donate. Don’t overlook things that are broken or obsolete. Ditch them too. The point is to get rid of clutter. This will have a freeing, empowering impact.

Reorganize What We Keep

With a little extra space to work with by getting rid of things we don’t need, we now have the capacity to reorganize what we have left. This includes our equipment room, storage areas, and files—both the paper kind and the electronic kind. And as we go through our reorganization, we’ll probably stumble on more things we don’t need. We can get rid of them too. Bonus!

Make Room for More

We’ve cleaned up and reorganized, what do we do with the extra space? Make room for more. Not more stuff, but more revenue-generating, efficiency-enhancing resources. Perhaps the net result of this effort is opening up an office or at least providing space for an employee who needs a better place to work. Or maybe this effort will produce a work area for that new employee you want to hire but don’t know where to put.

Update What’s Outdated

There seems to be a never-ending supply of things that are outdated. Update them so they can actually be useful. The areas to consider are numerous. Look at paperwork and forms. Most answering services thrive on these, but outdated paperwork will hamper productivity.

What about policies and procedures? These things evolve over time and existing staff tends to adjust with them, but what about a new employee or person new to a position? These outdated resources will cause them to take the wrong action or make ill-informed decisions.

Next look at sales and marketing collateral. Does it promote services you no longer offer? Does it not include new services that you do offer? Make sure pricing and feature information is current.

And don’t forget your website. Does it look old and tired? Many answering service websites do. Does it still meet your needs or is it a bit clunky to use? Perhaps a few strategic tweaks will fix it, or maybe it needs a complete overhaul.

Make Staffing Changes

When it comes to spring cleaning, the most challenging consideration is often staffing. Most answering services have at least one less-than-ideal staffing situation. It might be someone who’s in the wrong position, a once-valued employee who is now dragging down the company, or a person who never should have been hired in the first place.

It’s easy to put off making needed staffing changes until next week. We hope things will get better. We want to believe the situation will fix itself. It seldom does. Take a deep breath and resolve to make the staffing changes necessary for your answering service to thrive. It might result in short-term pain, but when done right it will produce long-term gain.

Next Step

In reviewing this list, there’s a lot to do. But don’t let the number of options paralyze you into taking no action. Instead pick the one spring cleaning project that will accomplish the most and do it. When it’s done pick the next significant one and do it too. Keep going until you’ve checked off every item on your list, even if it takes all year.

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